Friday, April 14, 2006

Michelle Malkin: Getting By On Good Looks, Piss n' Vinegar, And Utter Hypocrisy

Self-appointed conservative critics like Michelle Malkin piss me off.

It isn't the withering condescension toward anyone without carbon-copy ideas and values, though that's pretty annoying. It's not even the willingness to sacrifice fact on the altar of loyalty.

It's the powerfully stupid hypocrisy, really.

Here's Michelle Malkin, up in arms over a "racist math question," culled from a posting she made a few weeks ago:

I've been getting lots of e-mail about an idiotic math question reportedly crafted by a Bellevue (WA) Community College professor that takes a racist swipe at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Here's a message forwarded to me from Rev. Wayne Perryman of Mercer Island, Wa.:


Dear Friends: The following sample math problem was given to students as part of their final exam at Bellevue Community College in Washington State. I was asked by black students to represent them in this matter. Some of these students attend my church. I am asking all of you and your friends to e-mail the school at the following e-mail addresses and express your outrage: Advising@bcc.ctc.edu, tpritcha@bcc.ctc.edu, and amatsumo@bcc.ctc.edu. The following is the math problem given to the students. Condoleezza holds a watermelon just over the edge of the roof of the 300 -foot Federal Building, and tosses it up with a velocity of 20 feet per second. The height of the watermelon above the ground t seconds later is given by formula h= -16t2 + 20t + 300

a. How many seconds will it pass her (she's standing at a height of 300 feet) on the way down?

b. When will the watermelon hit ground?

Condi Rice has withstood far worse, far uglier slights in her life. But this is another telling little example of the acceptability of liberal bigotry and racial double standards.


Ugh. I suppose if you live in the sort of Bizarro-universe where the sheer presence of the words "watermelon" and "Condoleezza Rice" in the same sentence indicates massive racial intolerance, then this question is "offensive." But wait.

Here's a mocked up Comedy Central logo that Malkin ran after the cable station decided not to broadcast an image of Mohammed:


So, let me get this straight. It's alright...nay, it's a patriotic duty, for Comedy Central to air an image of Mohammed, despite the possibility of violence and the inevitable offense created to ALL Muslims at showing an image of the prophet?

Yet, this math professor is a racist who should be ashamed of his "liberal bigotry and racial double-standards" because he dared to combine a black person with a watermelon in his math question?

Did Michelle Malkin actually watch the South Park episode she's yammering on about?

Because the point of the show seemed to be that when it comes to free speech, either it's ALL okay, or none of it is.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Malkin. The plain fact-of-the-matter is that showing the image of Mohammed is patently offensive to the Muslim religion. Not just the radical jihadists. The religion. But that's okay, because Ms. Malkin doesn't seem to particularly care about Muslims.

Personally, I thought CC should have aired the image. But I wonder.... if the image in question had been of, say, Condoleezza Rice dropping a watermelon from a building...would righteous Michelle be printing up fake logos?

8 Comments:

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Perhaps because it is Friday afternoon and I've been staring at Reinsurance docs all day, but I am not sure I follow the logic here.

Is it that playing to former racial stereotypes is just as bad as portraying the image of Mohammed? Or that complaining about the failure to portray the image of Mohammed is hypocritical while also complaining about the use of a racial stereotype?

I get the part about disliking Malkin, but on the rest, I'm unclear.

 
At 2:24 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

Complaining about the censorship of Mohammed while simultaneously berating a seemingly innocent math question for bigotry.

Malkin seems fine with insulting millions of Muslims, but not with the potential for insulting one black person.

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

I hear you, but it's sort of apples and oranges.

Let's take Mel Gibson's Passion movie. (I haven't seen it but the logic should still apply). And let's say that the movie depicted Jewish people in a derogatory way. (Once again, haven't seen it, and can't say either way). Let's also say that a group of violent Jews violently threatened to burn down any movie theater that decided to play the movie. Then, let's say, Sony Theaters decided that it would not show the movie out of a fear of a violent reprisal.

Seems consistent to me that you could say both Mel and Sony are wrong. And that's a situation dealing with the exact same message.

In the situation we're talking about re: Malkin, you have two different situations with two very different sensitivity levels.

The Condelezza watermellon thing appears to be specifically playing on old racial stereotypes. And if so, it appears specifically intended to offend. Not using the last name of Rice provides a fig leaf of plausible deniability, but it's hardly plausible.

Meanwhile, even a neutral depiction of Mohammed, without a concurrent intent to offend, is so purportedly offensive as to necessitate the threat of a violent reprisal.

I'm sure Malkin is hypocritical all the time (although I don't really care for her writing and consequently don't read it), but this may not be the circumstance of that.

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger Rune said...

Did you guys know that the professor was a former member of the KKK?

Actually, I just made that up.

 
At 8:37 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

I'm just happy to see a math teacher get screwed.

 
At 8:52 AM, Blogger codemorse said...

Great, Jabs.

Now I've got images of Dr. Lipschitz, bent over, running through my mind.

Way to go, bro.

Rune, damn you for your sleek, persuasive lies!

 
At 9:04 AM, Blogger codemorse said...

In the situation we're talking about re: Malkin, you have two different situations with two very different sensitivity levels.

The Condelezza watermellon thing appears to be specifically playing on old racial stereotypes. And if so, it appears specifically intended to offend. Not using the last name of Rice provides a fig leaf of plausible deniability, but it's hardly plausible.

Meanwhile, even a neutral depiction of Mohammed, without a concurrent intent to offend, is so purportedly offensive as to necessitate the threat of a violent reprisal.


Not to beat the proverbial deceased horse, but I think you're sort of missing the forest for the trees. Either that, or I've temporarily lost the ability to make a logical argument. That's probably more possible.

Why is it not okay for a Professor to create a math problem (i.e.: a short, fictional paragraph designed for viewing by young students) that maybe (and I stress maybe) contains a racially offensive element, yet obviously okay for South Park's creators to purposefully offend the Muslim population by directly violating one of the central tenets of their religion in a short, fictional tv show designed for viewing by young students (and aging folk like us)?

To me, that math problem seems like the sort of thing that only verly-p.c., namby-pamby liberal types are supposed to get upset at.

Sure, it contains both the name of a black person, and a watermelon. But where's the insult? The traditional racist comment has been that blacks eat watermelon. Does she eat one in the problem? Is it simply the possession of one that makes this racist? If that professor had written a math problem that had Seamus tossing a ten pound sack of potatoes off a building, would I be patently and horribly offended?

I'm a squishy lib, and I don't think I'd even notice the juxtaposition.

 
At 2:35 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Dr. Lipschitz and Mr. Dick, sitting in a tree....

Frankly, I never really understood the watermelon thing, so I looked it up, and found this:

Since the earliest days of plantation slavery, the caricature of the dark-skinned black child, his too-red lips stretched to grotesque extremes as they opened to chomp down on watermelon, was a staple of racism's diet. Over time, the watermelon became a symbol of the broader denigration of black people. It became part of the image perpetuated by a white culture bent upon bolstering the myth of superiority by depicting the inferior race as lazy, simple-minded pickaninnies interested only in such mindless pleasures as a slice of sweet watermelon.

In any case, I think we've gone far afield where we were originally heading.

The debate is, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma..."

 

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